A Former Life
Baudelaire

Long since, I lived beneath vast porticoes
By many ocean-sunsets tinged and fired,
Where mighty pillars, in majestic rows,
Seemed like basaltic caves when day expired.

The rolling surge that mirrored all the skies
Mingled its music, turbulent and rich,
Solemn and mystic, with the colors which
The setting sun reflected in my eyes.

And there I lived amid voluptuous calms,
In splendors of blue sky and wandering wave,
Tended by many a naked, perfumed slave,
Who fanned my languid brow with waving palms.

They were my slaves -- the only care they had
To know what secret grief had made me sad.

 

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